This article looks at the very narrow area concerning how to make your Facebook URL for your interior design business appear professional. Specifically how to create a proper ‘vanity URL’ for your business fan page.If you have already done that then here are some more useful additions to the business side of your Facebook page.
Many Interior Designers who sell to the general public see Facebook as just one way of lead generation – to some it is more important than others.
Ok here goes. This is a real life example where KOTHEA’s MD set up her personal username on Facebook incorrectly, there was already a Fan Page for KOTHEA. This article takes you through the steps we had to take to get the ‘vanity’ url correct both for the individual and for the company. Our MD inadvertently set her personal username (vanity URL) as ‘KOTHEA‘. So if anyone typed www.facebook.com/kothea it took them to her personal page rather than to the ‘proper’ company page. This situation got progressively messy as she started to use Facebook more for personal matters with business messages appearing in the same place as her personal ones. The result was that many of her friends kept seeing fabric related articles when they were not interior designers. Hopefully you get the picture!
So we start with the erroneous situation:
www.facebook.com/kothea as her personal name
and the rather unwieldly
as the original name for the company as it was assigned by Facebook. Note for this all to work you must already have created a business page or FAN PAGE for your business.
What we want to do is threefold:
- Release the facebook.com/kothea name so that it can be re-assigned to the business page
- Change her vanity url/username name to something more like what it really is
- Assign the proper company name to be KOTHEA.
Before we get started in earnest there are five critically important points: firstly, the person making these changes must be an administer of the business page and logged in to that page via THEIR PERSONAL ACCOUNT; secondly, you can only make changes to names once so be very, very careful; thirdly you must have at least 25 fans of your business page; fourthly, your business page must have been created as a Facebook PAGE not a group or anything else, it must be a page!; and finally Facebook sometimes requires that your personal account has been verified by mobile phone before any of these changes are allowed to be made.
If you are creating a page for the first time BE VERY CAREFUL some Facebook Fan Page setting CANNOT BE CHANGED (Jan 2010).
Here are the steps to go through:
- Check to make sure what settings have already been made
Type in this exactly: www.facebook.com/username ie do not put in your username put in the word ‘username’. You will get a message like the one below.
This confirms that KOTHEA is my MD’s username.
2. From the facebook menu go to SETTINGS and then to “ACCOUNT SETTINGS”. You will see something like the following where we now want to change the Username NOT the name.
3. Click on the word “change” the one next to USERNAME. ie the one above the word KOTHEA in my example. You are then prompted for a new username. It must be unique and there are various limitations to what you can have (sorry I don’t know all the restrictions but Facebook seems to disallow certain names even though they might be unique – for example i think only one ‘full stop’ is allowed). Be very sure what new username you want. Once you have checked its availability and confirmed your selection you will have something like the following, which shows your new username and you will have also freed up the old username:
4. Now go again to step 1 and type this exactly as I show here ie using EXACTLY what I have written: www.facebook.com/username
Where it says Page name choose your business page (the one you have already set up before reading this article!). Type in your desired Fan Page name in the box to the right of that and check the availability. If it is available (and it should be as you just released it) you can select and choose it and a message will appears as follows: